Peter Kavinksky is my boyfriend and I don’t care what anyone says.
I fully realize that I am an “adult” woman (I put “adult” in quotations because I still act like I’m 13 half the time) and Peter Kavinsky is a 16-18 year old boy. But when I read the To All The Boys I Loved Before trilogy, I pretend like I am Lara Jean…ok I promise you this is way less creepy than it sounds.
The thing is, I never had a real boyfriend until I was 24. (Hewhomustnotbenamed does NOT count. I mean, sorry not sorry if you cheat on me twice and don’t even know what to do with the little you have, you deserve to be stricken from the record. WOW 2020 PANDEMIC #IDGAF ENERGY GOT ME PUTTING DEM BOIZ ON BLAST…but I digress.) Even though I had a late start to relationships, I have always been a bit boy crazy.
I remember distinctly at the beginning of 6th grade thinking “ew boys have cooties and what’s that sticking up in Bobby’s* pants” and by the end of that school year I was dreaming of Ron Greenburg* sticking his tongue down my throat. That same year, a romantic side of me came out when Michael Edwards* let me know that he was moving to California. We started sending poems back and forth through AIM expressing our star-crossed “like” for each other. To be honest, I found most of these poems on myspace, which I now realize is plagiarism, but my 12 year old self was blinded with young love. Despite my middle-school popularity, I still left without the one thing I wanted more than anything: a boyfriend.
The summer between 8th and 9th grade could not end soon enough because I was so ready to finally start high school. I picked out the perfect first day of school outfit: black gaucho pants with a coral tank top over a black t-shirt paired with my grandma’s black beaded necklace (…I was truly a fashion icon in the making). I was excited to intermingle with Westlane’s, one of the other middle schools, hottest commodities, The Mike’s*: two beautiful blonde boys who were really good at soccer. I had actually attempted to hang out with them (and by hang out I mean just be in spatial proximity to them) at North Central High School’s Friday Night Football games. I had also been to the movies with them in a big group setting where I made sure to wear my darkest eyeliner and most revealing fishnet shirt…I told you, I’m a fashion icon.
However, even with having constant daydreams about these two and their 6-packs at the age 15 (like how is that even fair), by sophomore year, I actually developed a big crush on another boy that carried me through the rest of high school. His name was Wesley Bennet*. We had many classes together throughout the years and he was kind of quiet but just so nice and cute. I had (…still have) a big personality and I remember doing anything to make him laugh. I had figured out how he was going to fall in love with me: He would come over and watch Disney’s 1998 classic Mulan. Our hands would inch towards each other and slightly graze before he held onto mine. He would pull me in for a kiss and tell me how he’s liked me for years. We would become high school sweethearts and then do long-distance throughout college. It would be hard but our love would keep us strong. Eventually we would both move to NYC: me to pursue my dream of being on Broadway and he to work on the democratic nominees campaign for State Senator of District 18. I would land my big break just as he was making his first political run and eventual win. We would get married and live in a Brownstone in Brooklyn Heights or Park Slope with a yard, a dog, maybe 2-3 kids and live happily ever after.
Well, as you probably already guessed, none of this pining ended with a boyfriend. So instead of being yet another sad, emo teenager blasting “Untitled” from Simple Plan’s 2004 album Still Not Gettin’ Any (…this title hits a little too close to home even now *insert laugh cry emoji here*), I turned to the world of YA Rom-Coms.
For as long as I can remember, when I read a book, I not only play a pseudo-movie in my mind, but I am always putting myself as the main character (if you also do this, let me know in the comments because my friends have told me this is just me and it’s weird). The first book I can distinctly remember being obsessed with was Meg Cabot’s Avalon High. When I was reading this book, I WAS the lead character, Ellie, and actively falling for the main love interest, Will. It felt like her love story was happening to me. I devoured almost all of Meg Cabot’s canon and then continued to search and read any book about Prom or any retelling of Cinderella (Cindy Ella and Geek Charming by Robin Palmer both put me in my feelings). I loved the build up and (sexual) tension of these new relationships and even though I did not have one, I was able to “experience” them just by reading about them. So when I say now as an “adult” woman, that Peter Kavinsky is my boyfriend, I mean that when I am reading those books I am playing the story in my mind as if I am 16-18 year old Lara Jean.
Despite the fact that I now have loved, lossed, and had many other life experiences both good and bad, I still come back to my YA Rom-Coms. One of my personal favorite feelings is nostalgia. My friends and I will get together and literally laugh for hours on end about stupid things from our childhood. As we have established, I never personally got to experience young love so I like to experience a revised version of the past as if I did. Not in a sad angsty way, but rather in a dreamy state of mind kind of way, ya know?
Living back home in Indiana during this pandemic has definitely made me feel like I am a high schooler again. So it is only natural that I am reliving my romance with the captain of Adler High School’s Lacrosse team, Peter Kavinsky 🙂 .
*All the names of my former crushes have been changed in this piece. However, if you went to NCHS and graduated with me…it probably isn’t very hard to figure them out 😉 . If you figured it out and I wrote about you in this piece, I had a big glow up and am single so feel free to slide into those DMs because #YOLO…but not if you have a girlfriend or are married. That’s not cool bro.*
Allison Hunt is an actor/comedy writer and a lover of all thing books. She co-wrote and stars in her own comedy series, Untitled Millennial Project. She is a double Gryffindor sun and moon with a Ravenclaw rising. While she reads everything, her favorite genre is dystopian/ fantasy (…with a love story in it of course 😉 ). When she’s not reading, she enjoys a bougie workout class and a solid happy hour situation (pre-corona obvi)…and might as well throw in Pumpkin Spice Lattes since this is all sounding #basic.